Local health leader selected for national fellowship

    SASKATOON, SK, Sept. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Leanne Smith, RN, Maternal &
Children's Planning Manager, Saskatoon Health Region has been selected as one
of 24 participants in a prestigious national healthcare fellowship
program-Executive Training for Research Application (EXTRA).
    The EXTRA/FORCES fellowship is designed to train health system managers
from across Canada to become better decision makers by using and applying
evidence from research in their day-to-day work. The two-year program combines
residency seminars, e-learning, mentorship and networking components with
intervention projects undertaken in fellows' home institutions.
    "The EXTRA/FORCES program gives fellows the opportunity to network with
other healthcare leaders facing similar challenges," said Dr. Jean Rochon,
former Quebec minister of health and social services and chair of the
EXTRA/FORCES Advisory Council. "The program allows them to share problems and
ideas, and to discuss possible solutions."
    A key element of the program is an intervention project through which
fellows apply their classroom learning to solving issues in their home
    Ms. Smith has chosen to focus on 'Patients and Families: Partners in
transforming a health care system'. The Saskatoon Health Region is currently
planning a new Maternal & Children's Center. In order to create an environment
best suited to the needs of patients, their families and staff, there is a
need to plan and work together as a team. Ms. Smith's intervention project
will consist of assessing the willingness and comfort of staff, patients and
family members to work as partners in planning and provide the necessary
training and education to support their work together.
    "One of our key planning principles for the new Maternal & Children's
Center is that it is patient and family centered and it's important that we
collaborate with patients and families throughout the project. The information
and experience gained through this project could then be utilized by the rest
of the Health Region as we move toward system wide transformation of our
services," explains Ms. Smith.

    EXTRA/FORCES was established in 2003 with a $25 million grant from Health
Canada. The first cohort of 24 fellows was selected in May, 2004. This year
marks its fourth year. Ms. Smith is part of the fourth cohort who began their
first residency session in August.
    EXTRA/FORCES is a partnership program, administered by the Canadian
Health Services Research Foundation and supported by the Canadian College of
Health Service Executives (CCHSE); the Canadian Health Services Research
Foundation (CHSRF); the Canadian Medical Association (CMA); the Canadian
Nurses Association (CNA); and a consortium of Quebec partners represented by
the Agence des technologies et des modes d'intervention en santé (AETMIS).

For further information:

For further information: Kelly Goulet-Lewis, Account Coordinator,
Blueprint Public Relations, (613) 237-7400 Ext. 22, cell (613) 769-3411; For
Ms. Smith: Michele Bossaer, Adviser, Corporate and Public Affairs, Saskatoon
Health Region, (306) 655-3328

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